MY 11-year-old daughter came home today from school frustrated and sad after being told that there will be no real celebrations for P7s to mark the end of their primary days.

Despite the fact that the numbers are falling, deaths are low and there are record numbers of people taking up the vaccines, South Lanarkshire Council has taken the easy way out and opted for video leavers services and "organised fun'' events in the playground. Boy, it must be good to be young these days.

This is the same council which, like other local authorities, used schools for elections and allowed thousands of people to vote in poorly-ventilated buildings, with virtually no social distancing. Politics, it seems, is more important than people.

No one is asking for proms, overnight stays, huge celebrations and the like, but I think the council can do a little better than offer an extension of education as a way to remember what should be the best days of your life.

With a little thought, the P7 classes could be spilt into groups and events organised to allow the children to let off some steam before they head off. And the same could be done with the leavers services.

Councils expect parents to fund-raise and support schools, yet they don't think parents deserve to see their children leave school in the time-honoured tradition. If schools and parents are so contagious, unlike the hundreds of teachers and council workers who seem to be immune to the virus, then why not hold the leavers services outside with social distancing and masks in operation for parents and likewise hold events in split groups?

Our children have been through so much and have lost so much of their schooling during the pandemic and is this how we reward them? What must they think when they see that sportsmen can continue to play their favourite game, people can gather in pubs and at concerts and holiday destinations are opening?

Councils chiefs hiding behind health and safety rules should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and think back to their own school days. The damage they are doing to our children is an utter disgrace. Please can they stop taking the easy way out?

Ed Brown, East Kilbride.


ALAS, I grow weary of reading of reading of the sins of Martin Bashir and the BBC. It is many years since I studied history. As I recall, successive monarchies over the centuries were pretty brutal. Hints were dropped that a landowner was out of popularity with a monarch and some noble aspirant would arrange a convenient exit of the offender and his lands would be gifted to someone “more suitable". Alternatively the call would be “off with their heads". Thankfully those days are over.
One rule is now evident. Any apparent criticism of a monarch or the heir apparent is strictly forbidden. There is a problem, however, as a younger generation is increasingly uncertain of the relevance of a monarchy. The youth of today are aware of the poverty around them and perhaps believe that a monarchy today should have a lower profile if it is to continue.
Our political class should remember the changing picture and not lend support to those who seek to destroy an organisation which we rely on to tell the truth, even if is uncomfortable.
JW Frame, Bearsden.



DOES anyone else remember that terror of truants in the post-war years, the “wheeper-in” as he was called in my home area, who had the same function as Castlebrae Community High’s “family engagement officer” ("A lesson in going from failure to success", The Herald, May 24)?

No truant, either headed home or off to enjoy the local playpark or even hide up a close, escaped his clutches. Moreover, the fear of parental retribution if caught was an added deterrent.

Plus ça change.

P. Davidson, Falkirk.



DAVID Brown's suggestion that he is becoming a grumpy old man reminded me of the recent death of John Richards, founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society. The usefulness of the apostrophe was demonstrated by Kingsley Amis, who produced three versions of the same sentence: "Those things over there are my husband's; Those things over there are my husbands', and Those things over there are my husbands."

I am happy to join the ranks of Mr Brown's grumpy old men.

David Miller, Milngavie.



PERMIT me a wry smile if it is correct that Aberdeenshire Council has forbidden employees from joking around with the public over fears that it could exacerbate the transmission of Covid ("Power and pitfalls of humour in the workplace", The Herald, May 25 ).

I have good friends in the north-east and they enjoy a joke like those of us in the enlightened west. There may be a market for waterproof tea bags up there, but I refuse to believe that copper wire was invented by Aberdonians fighting over pennies.

R Russell Smith, Largs.